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THE OFFERING MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME
We figured it was a matter of when, and not if it was going to happen. The Offering Mountain Bike Frame from Evil Bikes is a chassis that many riders, ourselves included, were patiently waiting for with baited breath. Slotting in quite nicely between its established 29ers that include its 120mm travel Following and the 160mm Wreckoning, The Offering sports 140mm of squish that’s the Goldilocks amount of travel for a bike that can pedal efficiently and isn’t afraid to go full-send when called upon.
It’s no secret that here in the office, we’re big fans of big wheels and The Offering is its latest wagon wheel bike that simply devours steep and gnarly technical terrain, days in the park, or big backcountry pedaling days alike. While Evil still offers up 27.5-inch rides in its Insurgent and Calling, ever since company head Kevin Walsh discovered the capabilities of the newer crop of 29-inch bikes and the benefits of a 622 ERD, the brand has put an emphasis on building frames that played up to its aggressive and fun nature while blending the speed and rollover ability that only comes with larger wheels.
It’s first 29er, The Following, received universal acclaim and it didn’t take too long before it realized that it needed to build a long travel machine for higher speed over punishing terrain and one that could compete in enduro racing. The Wreckoning was born and it pushed the limits of what a long travel 29er could do. With both of those bikes getting recent updates this season, it was time for the crew at Evil to turn its attention into developing an excellent tweener.
It had plenty to draw from its other bikes when developing The Offering including its DELTA suspension platform using a trunnion mounted metric shock, Boost spaced rear end, threaded bottom bracket, and premium carbon layup. What it really focused on was a totally modern geometry sporting some of the longest reach numbers we’ve seen to date on an Evil (a medium Offering is 7mm longer than a large Wreckoning) and the now ubiquitous super-steep seat tube angle that sits at 77-degrees (2-degrees steeper than other bikes in its lineup) built up with a 140mm fork and in its highest geo setting. This translates to a bike with unflappable stability while descending down rowdy terrain or hitting up some lift access for progression in the park, yet it doesn’t sacrifice pedaling efficiency on those long days spent pedaling in the woods where you have to earn your turns. There are so many good trail bikes in this travel range so The Offering has some pretty big shoes to fill, however, like we’ve seen from Evils in the past, these bikes get better the faster you go and instill a certain level of confidence and playfulness that few brands can match.
Perhaps it stems from a brand that has a gravity-fueled addiction, it doesn’t make any XC whippets, and even though its DELTA suspension package isn’t anywhere close to being inefficient, its most at home mobbing through and over rough terrain. It’d be safe to say that this bike is almost as capable as that of a full-on DH bike from a decade ago, and it can corner and pedal up to the peaks too. This is an amazing testament to modern mountain bike design and it not only lets us ride our usual trails with more speed, but it also gives us the confidence to try some harder trails too.
Naturally, if you’re looking at this frame you might be on the fence between it, its little brother The Following, and its big brother The Wreckoning. If you have an XC background and want a bike that offers a little more speed and confidence than a race bike but still keeps low weight and efficiency in mind, The Following might be your best bet. The Wreckoning is a different kettle of fish and is a full-on trophy truck that prefers plow mode and if you have more of a DH-background and feel like you might be able to extract its full potential, go for it. But for most of us, The Offering hits a sweet spot with its all-mountain friendly 65.6 to a very evil 66.6-degree headtube angle, depending on fork travel and what setting you have the linkage flip chip in. With Boost spacing used on all of its bikes, Evil is able to hack the length off of the chainstays to sub-17inch numbers to position the rear wheel right up against the seattube, for a rear end that’s the same length as its 130mm travel 27.5-inch Calling. Quick line changes and lofting the front wheel up and over obstacles has never been easier.
The suspension travel is governed by Dave’s Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus, or simply DELTA, which Evil designed in collaboration with Dave Weagle, also of DW-link and Split-Pivot fame. Dave holds more bike patents than you can shake a stick at and has achieved wizard status in the mountain bike suspension world. Essentially, DELTA is a linkage driven single pivot that’s chosen to achieve a level of adjustability that’s not allowed on DW-link’s mini-link design. In fact, DELTA was originally designed as a platform to test different suspension curves, so it’s most basic, defining attribute is its limitless adjustability. On the new Offering, it receives the redesigned linkage seen on the Wreckoning and Following, built for simplicity, weight savings, and increased strength. The redesigned dog bone links use integrated forged bosses that connect the linkage to simplify maintenance while boosting lateral stiffness.
Naturally, shock setup is very important on a DELTA bike and Evil works very closely with its suspension partners for the proper tune and hooks up The Offering with a built-in sag measurement meter so you can dial in the prescribed 30% quickly and easily. Just reset the little toggle, hop on the saddle, and add or remove air as needed. This particular version gets the excellent RockShox Super Deluxe RCT3 that is extremely plush and offers easy adjustability for your weight, riding style, and terrain. It went through no less than 8 different sock tunes before selecting the one chosen here.
Riding a DELTA equipped bike is a revelation as it offers an amazingly light-off-the-top early stroke while transitioning into a supportive mid-stroke that simply creates traction as you claw up and over loose, rock ledges and slippery root balls. As you peg the fun meter deeper into its six-plus inches of travel, the kinematics create some ramping to help maintain a bottomless feel and prevents harsh bottom outs so you’ll have the confidence to hit that double, huck-to-flat, or stomp that gap you’ve been eyeballing with the confidence that comes from its refined suspension platform. It takes a lot to find DELTA’s limits which is fantastic for those looking to up their game and even Evil’s own pro factory pilots.
With all that talk of suspension design and geometry, it’d be easy to dismiss the frame’s carbon construction. While Evil has had some issues with carbon manufacturing many moons ago, its unidirectional carbon and one-piece molded frames are now constructed in a factory that also happens to service most of the high-end manufacturers on the market. The new frames simply exude quality and after logging some hard trail miles and subjecting the bikes to a few seasons’ worth of general abuse, we can wholeheartedly say its exceeded expectations in the durability department.
This Offering is built up with a new, lighter layup that first appeared on the new Following and Wreckoning, further enhancing that engineered chassis flex that makes Evil bikes a track through hard corners and speed through chunky rock gardens instead of getting deflected off of its line. The marketing hyperbole of increased stiffness with more compliance isn’t lost on this one and this bike is an absolute riot to ride and it’s hard not to be a hooligan when aboard.
- A mid-travel 29er built for high speed and precision
- 140mm of plush, Dave Weagle refined DELTA suspension
- Boost rear spacing allows for a short rear end with big wheels
- Customizable geometry courtesy of flip chips at the linkage
- Sag meter makes for easy shock setup
- Carbon construction is light, stiff, and durable
- Modern geometry is built for slaying the mountain, up and down
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